When Can Fans Expect Fox's Marvel Characters To Appear In The MCU?

Before the end of 2017, a huge deal in the entertainment industry was announced with Disney acquiring 21st Century Fox, which meant the House of Mouse would own 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, the FX and National Geographic channels, Fox's regional sports networks, and a majority ownership of Hulu. The details of this purchase are still being worked out, but there was one result from this deal that had comic book movie fans buzzing, and that was the expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Disney purchasing 20th Century Fox meant that Marvel Studios would again be in control of the rights to X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, characters from Marvel Comics who were previously off limits from being in the MCU. This has fans fantasizing about when and how we'll see some of these characters introduced to the MCU, but according to head honcho Kevin Feige, they shouldn't be expecting those characters to meet up with any of The Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy until after 2019.

Vulture had the opportunity to talk with Kevin Feige during the press junket for Black Panther in Los Angeles today, and they asked about his possible involvement or knowledge about the Disney purchase of Fox. However, you might be surprised to learn that Feige hasn't really been part of those conversations, despite its implications for Marvel Studios and their parent company. Feige says this deal is "certainly above my pay grade" and he wasn't given any special heads up or information about what was happening behind the scenes.

But now that the opportunity is on the table for X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool to become part of the official Marvel Studios family, surely Feige has started to think about how they can be incorporated into forthcoming movies in the MCU, right? Apparently Marvel's fearless leader isn't jumping the gun on any plans to bring Fox Marvel characters in the MCU just yet. He says:

"The truth of the matter, as I understand it, is the deal has to be figured out. There's been no communication. We're not thinking about it. We're focusing on everything we've already announced. If and when the deal actually happens, we'll start to think more about it. Until then, we have a lot to do."

Vulture wasn't satisfied with this answer. After all, we're talking about the guy who had the writers of Captain America: Civil War come up with two different versions of the story: one version that included the incorporation of Spider-Man if a deal with Sony Pictures could be struck to share the character, and another that would have left the webslinger out of the equation. Are we sure Feige isn't coming up with alternate routes for movies that aren't going in front of a camera until later this year or sometime next year?

If Feige is playing coy, he's doing a damn good job. When asked if he was thinking of how to incorporate X-Men, Fantastic Four or Deadpool into any of the future movies we know about, Feige said, "It would be years away. We've announced everything through 2019, so none of those would be adjusted."

That means we wouldn't see any big introductions of mutants, Marvel's first family or the Merc with a Mouth until after The Avengers 4. That's a bit of a bummer, but it also makes sense when you consider all the red tape that needs to be figured out for this deal and how far in advance Feige likes to plan things for the MCU. As of now Feige is only concerned with delivering what they've promised to fans so far, and they have plenty of time to sort out what happens after that.

However, that doesn't mean The Avengers 4 wouldn't have some kinds of credits scene teasing the introduction of those characters in the years after. Marvel has added plenty of credits scenes to their movies at the last minute, long after principal photography has been completed, so anything is possible as a last minute addition. It just wouldn't be anything that completely shakes up the primary plot of the movie.